After a long and bloody war, marked by disregard of civilian casualties (or worse) on both sides, the Sri Lankan military has finally crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a military force, killing most of its senior leaders in the process. As national minorities go, the Sri Lankan Tamils have at least as good a cause as many others to complain of oppression and discrimination. (Broadly speaking, the usual post-colonial story where the colonial rulers favored some members of a minority group, with the result that the whole group suffered in the aftermath of independence). But their resort to armed struggle and terrorism was a disaster for all concerned, and not just because it failed. The LTTE in their temporary period of victory were worse oppressors than the most chauvinist majority governments had ever been. And of course, all Sri Lankans have suffered hugely as a result of the original policies of discrimination and worse directed against the Tamils. Even before the war broke out, the large-scale emigration of many of the most able and best educated members of the community was a huge loss.
I hope (but don’t really expect) that the government will display more magnanimity in victory than it has shown in the prosecution of the war, and that, if only on grounds of enlightened self-interest, it will seek a settlement that gives genuine equal rights to all.
is well worth reading. Key quote
AK-47s cannot defeat a state and when people and communities with genuine political grievances take up arms, it only provides the state with an easy way out to enforce a military solution.
Note:This post got misplaced somehow, putting it back now